2 Signs Your Child May Have Bipolar

Adolescence is hard. There are all kinds of things that can cause a teenager to have a really hard time, including raging hormones. What can make it even harder is when your teenager has a problem that may be a mental illness. A lot of mental illnesses may start to show up in late adolescence. You may have a hard time trying to tell what is something like bipolar disorder and what is just a teenager having issues and raging hormones. There are some signs that you can look for that can help you differentiate between normal teenage behavior and bipolar disorder. 

Lack of Focus

If your child is having a manic event, they may have problems with focusing. If you ask them to do a particular task they may start the task and then abruptly change to another one because they got distracted. For example, you may ask them to pick up their room, but on the way to do that, they may see a book that they want to read, so they grab the book to read, but after a couple of pages, their phone dings and distracts them. While a lack of focus and distractibility can be normal in your teenager, this will be worse than anything you would have ever seen before. 

Oversleeping/Not Sleeping

Another sign that they may have something like bipolar is that their sleep patterns may change. In both the manic and depressive parts of the bipolar cycle, lack of sleep is common. A person in a manic episode may stay up for days on end, generally doing things. In the depressive episodes, your teen may just lay in bed not sleeping, but just laying there not doing anything. However, at that point, they may also sleep a lot, to the point where if they aren't at school, they are in bed asleep, and may even have a hard time going to school because all they can do is sleep. Even though they are getting a lot of sleep, they may still feel like they aren't rested and still be incredibly tired all the time. 

If you are worried that your teenager may be showing signs that they have bipolar, then you should take them to a professional to have them evaluated. The mental health professional may suggest that they go into counseling at a location like Center For Family Guidance or take medication to help control their bipolar so that your teenager can be functional.